Brian Scalabrine, in the starting lineup while Kevin Garnett served a one-game suspension, hit a 3-pointer with 1:14 left to help Boston recover after its 15-point, fourth-quarter lead was trimmed to four and the Celtics beat New York 110-101 last night.
Paul Pierce scored 22, Kendrick Perkins had 16 points and eight rebounds and Rajon Rondo had 15 points, eight boards and seven assists for the Celtics, who were playing without Garnett for the first time this season.
Wilson Chandler scored 23, and Zach Randolph had 18 points and eight rebounds for the Knicks, who have lost seven straight games against Boston but were hoping to gain ground in the Atlantic Division.
Garnett did not miss a game last year until Jan. 27, when he began a nine-game stint in street clothes because of an abdominal strain; the Celtics were 9-2 in all without him during their NBA championship run. But he was suspended for throwing a punch at Milwaukee's Andrew Bogut on Saturday and forced to sit out one game.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers decided to start Scalabrine, the little-used big man, rather than pull Leon Powe off the second unit and upset his rotation. Powe scored 14 with seven rebounds off the bench and played most of the fourth quarter, but Scalabrine came back in during the final minutes and squared up after the Knicks came within a pair of baskets.
Scalabrine also hit back-to-back long jumpers in the third, one of them a 3-pointer, for his only other baskets of the night.
This program aired on November 19, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.